Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, is the keystone document of our free society. Over the years they have been dragged through the courts in various attempts to interpret, expand, or limit the scope of their application. I am amazed at the current situation in our country where some are concerned that their Second Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" is in danger of being taken away, but at the same time advocating the suspension of the First Amendment right to "free exercise" of religion for Muslims.
My Quaker ancestors came to America in the 1600's to escape religious intolerance. The Bill of Rights was written to protect those freedoms my ancestors came here to find, the same freedoms my father and my grandfather thought they were fighting to protect in two world wars. Now the fear mongers want to selectively apply those freedoms.
The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect the citizens from the government, the job of the government is to protect its citizens! I say keep the First Amendment intact for all, regardless of the collective pain brought on by September 11th, and let Homeland Security, the FBI, and New York's finest do their job of protecting us from possible terrorists.
"You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom." ~Clarence Darrow
"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" ~Jesus, Matthew 7:12
Peace, Love, and Light!